Student Excellence Awards Recognize Outstanding Student Leaders

Published on May 17, 2023

By Lexie McClendon

The annual Eastern Kentucky University Student Excellence Awards recognized student leaders from across all aspects of student life on Thursday, April 27, at the EKU Center for the Arts.

“Through leadership, service and co-curricular commitments, students continuously exemplify the true Eastern spirit,” said Loni Yost, executive director of Student Life and First-Year Experience. “Their dedication and efforts have shown to positively impact EKU, the Richmond community and beyond. The Student Excellence Awards program is an annual tradition that honors the successes and contributions of these exceptional students and student organizations.” 

The list of winners is as follows: 

Housing and Residence Life:

  • Elijah Brock - National Residence Hall Honorary Member of the Year

  • Ellie Guadarrama - Dean Crockett RA of the Year

First-Year Courses recognized two students as Outstanding First-Year Leaders

  • Caroline Kinsman

  • Camyle Thompson

NOVA recognized four students as winners of the Nancy Hindman Leadership Award

  • Christi Beaver

  • Takashi Hedger

  • Denetria Staton

  • Sunni Walters 

Campus Recreation:

  • Kyle Januska - Adventure Programs Participant of the Year

  • Colin Kays - Intramural Male Athlete of the Year

  • Molli Nelson - Intramural Female Athlete of the Year

  • Sigma Chi - Fraternity Cup of the Year

  • Alpha Delta Pi - Sorority Cup of the Year

  • Savanna Crooks - Jacob L. Moore Rookie of the Year

  • Amaris Cohen - Perseverance in Wellness Award

  • Shania Chirinos - Group Fitness Participant of the Year

  • Cece Reed, Chase Finkbeiner and Faith Conway - Pride and Quality Awards

  • Frank Jeffrey, Katie Mertens and Sarah Witt - Service and Spirit Awards

  • Destiny Duff, Isaac Brown and Madeline Lewis - Campus Recreation Excellence Awards

EKU Athletics:

  • Charlie Ludwick, baseball - EKU Athletics Male Athlete of the Year

  • Antwainette Walker, basketball - EKU Athletics Female Athlete of the Year

  • Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Nu - EKU Athletics Registered Student Organizations of the Year

  • EKU Football and EKU Men’s Cross Country - EKU Athletics Teams of the Year Recognition

The Center for Africana Engagement recognized two students for the Ann Peyton Award

  • Odilia Martinez 

  • Abigail Wild

Bobby Verdugo and Yoli Rios Bilingual Peer Mentor and Tutoring Center “El Centro” Awards

  • Mauro Madrid Perez - Professional Excellence and Mentoring Award

  • Yeiko Galindo Muniz - Outstanding Leadership and Peer Mentor Award

  • Jackeline Almaraz - Outstanding Community Ambassador and Tutor Award

  • Abraham Martinez-Bartolo - Outstanding Student Engagement Award

  • Elizabeth Ruvalcaba - Outstanding Cultural Ambassador

  • Erin Wilson - Excellence in Innovation

  • Angie Marroquin - Excellence in Translation

  • Jack Koontz - Excellence in German Tutoring

  • Jada Scott - Excellence in Japanese Tutoring

  • Vanessa Paxtle-Granjero - Excellence in Spanish Tutoring

Center for Inclusive Excellence and Global Engagement presented five students with Ambassador Awards

  • Orion Vermillion

  • Kain Horn

  • Justin Mitchell

  • Laura De Cotiis

  • Ariel Jennings

Dean of Students:

  • Thomas Devereux - Dean of Students Award for Resilience

  • Kyra Mills - Dean of Students Award for Mentoring

  • Jasmine Gaona - Dean of Students Award for Advocacy

Student Government Association:

  • Mackenzie Howard - Outstanding Senior Award and Begley Award (CAB Member)

  • Will Lampert - Begley Award (General SGA Member)

  • Makenna Lambert - Gardner Award (Senate Chair)

  • Jordan Murphy - Gardner Award (Senator)

  • Aaron Barker - Hall Award for Most Outstanding Court Justice

  • Paige Murphy - Funderburk Award

Fraternity and Sorority Life:

  • Samuel Manning Sewell of Pi Kappa Alpha, Randi Mills of Chi Omega and Christian Bustos of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity - The Kelly Hardy and Caleb Dunn Inspirational Awards

  • Abby Hall of Chi Omega and Isaac Brown of Phi Delta Theta - Most Outstanding New Member Award

  • Dante Webb of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity and Ainye Rogers of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Most Outstanding Neophyte

  • Adam Froman of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Christian Bustos of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity - Fraternity Member of the Year Award

  • Kylee Tyson of Alpha Delta Pi and Ainye Rogers of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Sorority Member of the Year Award

  • Cameron Warren of Phi Delta Theta, Christian Bustos of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Haley Callebs of Delta Zeta, and Ainye Rogers of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - The Emerging Leader Award

  • Patrick Parker of Lambda Chi Alpha, Sarah Davenport of Chi Omega, Oscar Garcia of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, and Ainye Rogers of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Chapter President of the Year Award

Student Life and First-Year Experience:

  • Gracie Royalty and Bradley Behymer - Colonel Community Service Awards

  • Bradley Behymer - Excellence in Service (Individual)

  • EKU Recreation and Park Administration, Kappa Delta Tau and The Wildlife Society - Colonel Community Service Award (Group)

  • EKU Recreation and Park Administration, Excellence in Service (Group)

  • Rec Equipment and Toy Drive for Eastern KY Flood Victims, Rec Club and Recreation and Park Administration - RSO Outstanding Service Program

  • Rock Your Socks, EKU Council for Exceptional Children and World Down Syndrome Day - RSO New Event of the Year

  • Shop with a Cop, Alpha Phi Sigma-Epsilon and Richmond Police Department - RSO Collaboration of the Year

  • Colonels with Kids, Noah Short - RSO Officer of the Year

Student Excellence Awards:

  • Chelsea Stephens - First-Year Student of the Year

  • Dominic Acciardo - Sophomore Student of the Year

  • Natalia Smith - Junior Student of the Year

  • Elijah (Cruz) Cardona - Senior Student of the Year

  • Bryce Favors-Charleston - Graduate Student of the Year

As the School of Opportunity, EKU provides opportunities for students to learn and grow in the classroom and beyond. Student Life and First-Year Experience strives to enhance the quality of student life by supporting the academic success and holistic development of every EKU Colonel.